Chubb Community Care, a leading provider of technologies and solutions to support independent living, has launched CareUnity® Telehealth. CareUnity Telehealth is an innovative single-unit solution that monitors the safety and medical condition of the vulnerable living in the community or in care.
The combined telecare and telehealth device enables care providers to meet the total social care needs of individuals in their charge and support government initiatives to achieve three million telecare/telehealth users by 2017 in England and an additional 330,000 users by 2015 in Scotland.
Chubb CareUnity Telehealth will be able to monitor whether an individual using traditional telecare is physically safe—for example, that they have not had an accident or fall—as well as critical indicators such as blood pressure or even blood glucose levels to ensure that they are not medically at risk. Because the system is able to determine the call type, telecare alarms can be directed to a monitoring center and telehealth readings can be automatically directed to a special telehealth monitoring center for review by a health professional. The system also securely updates the patient’s medical record.
Although telecare technologies are already well-established, complicated devices, the requirement of an Internet protocol (IP) infrastructure and the cost of a separate telehealth system have hindered its adoption. Chubb Community Care has developed a cost-effective combined solution that uses existing telephone lines and infrastructure, thereby significantly reducing financial investment. Furthermore, CareUnity Telehealth comes with a flexible contract, so it offers cost savings by providing the option to turn off the telehealth function when it is not required.
“Innovative solutions such as these are crucial for the continuing care of the country’s elderly and vulnerable,” says Samantha Davies, Business Development Manager, Chubb Community Care. “In offering an affordable solution, Chubb is not only supporting the government’s initiative, but it will also improve users’ quality of life and reduce long-term health care costs.”
As well as being cost-effective, CareUnity Telehealth has been designed to be easy to use and fully adaptable to a wide range of varying environments, including sheltered accommodation, local authorities, housing associations, general practitioners, care-commissioning groups and private homes.
The first systems will be able to transmit readings, through wired and wireless sensors, relating to blood pressure, weight, pulse oximetry, blood glucose and temperature directly to a third-party clinician, who can then interpret the information and respond accordingly. A clinician could ask the customer for a repeat reading, discuss if a potentially concerning reading could be the result of a stressful incident or lack of sleep, and advise the necessary actions to take. This intervention is intended to reduce the number of unnecessary and stressful hospital visits, increase confidence in users to manage their own health, and alleviate the pressures and concerns of caregivers.
Future applications include spirometry readings to indicate lung condition, which is particularly useful for sufferers of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pedometers to measure activity levels and calorie usage.
Telecare users will interact with the unit just as they do today, but with the addition of visual and audio aids to prompt health readings at intervals based on the user’s needs, i.e., daily, weekly, etc. If health readings are not taken within the given time scale, non-urgent alarms are sent to the clinicians responsible.
“As an industry, we must be at the forefront of technological advancements, while also ensuring products are simple to use. Chubb Community Care has developed CareUnity Telehealth with this in mind. The product integrates into the telecare package with ease, sending data securely to the relevant centers,” said David Hammond, General Manager, Chubb Community Care. “By working with our experienced health partner, readings taken from the CareUnity Telehealth platform will be managed, assessed and passed to a clinician as appropriate. CareUnity Telehealth truly delivers a full, affordable end-to-end solution for social and health care service provision.”
CareUnity Telehealth is compatible with any local authority monitoring center. Its features include high-clarity hands-free speech, multiple emergency numbers allowing direct connections to a control center, recorded messages and the ability to support advanced smart home devices. It meets all of the required telecare standards and regulations, including EN330 220-1: 2010, Category 1 receiver compliance.
As well as providing the technology, the server storage provision and delivery of readings to telehealth advisers, Chubb provides a range of support services for customers, including project planning, design, installation, technical support, training and maintenance on all systems provided.
Chubb Community Care technology is designed to promote a fully enabled and integrated telecare service. The Community Care business of Chubb has more than 60 years of expertise in designing and installing systems that meet the needs of installers, caregivers, responders and users. It is a member of the Telecare Services Association and has been awarded a framework agreement by the Crown Commercial Service for Technologies (telecare/telehealth/telecoaching solutions), Northern Housing Consortium for Assisted Living (products, installation and maintenance) and Scotland Excel for the supply and delivery of telecare equipment and associated services.